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Last week we were invited to a 50th birthday party in another suburb, maybe 20/25 minutes to drive. The party started at 7pm and lasted until after midnight. I drove my Mum and it went really great. I reverse parked like a pro! 😉 On our way back there were literally no cars on the roads. I was so much fun driving around town alone. I did some roundabouts twice and we had music on. It was better than the party!!! 😂 There was also a pretty foggy part outside of the town, almost no visibility. Took me a second to find the fog light (I know were they are, but finding them without looking for the first time was a bit difficult). It felt so great being able to drive my Mum. I also gave my mum her first lessons in an automatic car. She is only used to driving manual cars and has never driven an automatic. She is doing great, her left food is no problem at all, but she always wants to shift with her hand. So I have to remind her constantly to have her hands on the steering wheel. Driving alone still isn't really happening. I feel safer with my mum next to me. Totally crazy, because she never says something. I don't need her help at all. I need to face my fears a bit more and drive alone. Also I don't drive on the motorway and I don't plan to change that. I'd rather drive longer on the other roads. Driving on the motorway isn't the problem, but pulling into it. Maybe I will practice when there is very little traffic, but due to the area here, there is always traffic on the motorway. It still feels unreal to drive. I wonder when that will change.
Yesterday I picked my car up at the dealer. The car was parked inside the building on the first floor (2nd in the US I thing, so not ground floor, one above it). We paid and got a little introduction and then we watched as they basically shoved the car out of the window onto a ramp and like an elevator it went down to the ground. (You only get that if you buy new, with used cars you just pick them up on the parking place, haha!) First stop was the gas station (I paid 50€ for a full tank, I don't want to know how cheap it would be in the US). And then my Mum and I went on a little shopping trip to various stores, my navigation app said we drove 26km. I reversed parked at the street without problems, parked on the parking lots and went up the ramp from the parking garage (yay for hill start assist). The trickiest thing was getting onto our property. It is a very small gateway with buildings on both sides. I had to turn the parking sensors off because they went totally crazy. But it went well. Today my Mum is at work the whole day so no driving, but tomorrow we are going to the supermarket again and later to my relatives to show off my new car. I want to drive with my mother only at the beginning. She almost fell asleep, so I guess I drive okay. My Dad is so afraid and my Grandpa tries to tell you what to do all the time, even when my Mum drives, who has driving experience since she is 18 and no accidents... First drive alone is planed for next Friday. I'm going to pick up my Mum from her sports class and then we go to Christmas party and later I drive home again. It is still such a surreal feeling. When we got home yesterday I started crying after I turned the car off. So weird when something you never thought could happen becomes a reality. His name is Scottie. (Yes, I'm one of those weird people who give their car a name.) Named after the cat of my driving instructor.
On 29th October I officially bought the biggest thing I have ever bought. My car! (Obviously I'm not able to pay for it, so thanks Grandpa/Family!) The car is already in Germany, so they dealer might get it around the 15th November and once they have cleaned, sorted out the official stuff and put on the winter tires I should get it around the 19th. I already have my license plate (in Germany you can either get a random number, or pay for one you want). My initials and four numbers, my birthday and the one from my dad. It looks like "S - XY - 1234". I had to get the option with the sat-nav and the better radio (DAB) because the model without it would have a delivery date of March 2019 in the colour I wanted. The car is made in Japan. Which I think is totally cool. A real Japanese car. Now the third one in our family. To bust the myth that we all drive around in German cars. Nope, you pay so much more for so much less. For real, for example a Volkswagen with the same stuff in it as my Jazz would cost at least 3.000€ more. And everything else, like changing tires or service is also more expensive. So the last wait period has begun! The only thing I have or rather my Dad has to do is figure out the insurance stuff. The insurance runs on my Mum because it is cheaper that way. Oh, and pay once the car is here. 💸
Right now it is Friday morning, the day after my two test drives. I got the mail that my license is ready to be picked up on Tuesday, my Grandpa went and got it for me on Wednesday. Already on Tuesday we called and made appointments for two test drives, one in a Renault Captur with 120 PS and the other one in the new Honda Jazz/Fit with 130 PS. First, driving was no problem at all. I felt much better than in the driving lessons. I had no problem using those new cars, took me about a minute and I was used to them. The Renault came first and it was a good drive. Great car, some minor negative things, but overall a good experience. The Honda Jazz was a bit more novel for me due to the CVT. I'm used to double clutches, so it feel a bit weird at the beginning. So, it is going to be the new Honda Jazz/Fit Dynamic with 130 PS. Driving felt a tiny bit better in the Renault, but judging by the bigger picture the Honda has more to offer. More practicability due to the Magic Seats, more stuff in it and at least in Germany Honda has a great reputation for being very reliable. With the 130 PS it is okay to drive and I need to hit the gas a bit more than in the car I drove during my classes. There are no used cars around, so thanks to my Grandpa and family I'm going to get a new one. Due to my disability card I get a pretty good discount (I had no idea that car companies offer that) and well, I have the full warranty and everything that comes with it. We told them we need the weekend to talk it all through and on Monday we will finish the contract and by then I need to decide on a colour. My Mum said that if we get a new one, I should pick the colour I want, even if it costs a bit more. I'll add a picture and the link to the description of the car on the British Honda site (note sure if the US model the same as in Europe) and I will keep you updated about the delivery/pick up date. https://www.honda.co.uk/cars/new/jazz/overview.html (It is the Sports type in the UK, Dynamic in Germany. I guess we do not think of this car as a sports car and this is why they named it Dynamic here. 😀)
Because I switched from manual to automatic during my lessons I needed to wait a bit longer than usual for my license. Last week we went to the driver's license office type of thing and told them to change my license. We paid for the quicker time (a few days vs. six weeks for 19€ was worth it) and it should be ready by Wednesday or Thursday. I can't wait to hold that damn thing in my hands, and not only the paper with the big fat "this is not a license" on it. Yesterday we went to look at cars again and visited a Renault dealer. We looked at a couple of cars and I saw one I instantly liked and sat down in it. It was love at first sight. It has less stuff in it than the Jazz/Fit, but more PS and it is classified as a Mini-SUV kind of car. Its name is Captur. Way to expensive brand new but it is a car that is often used for leasing and he said that there will be some coming back soon and then the price is okay. So we hope that we can test drive soon. Right now it is Honda Jazz/Fit vs. Renault Captur. I will take them on the same route so I can compare.